WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross is helping people in Saipan, part of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, after Typhoon Soudelor blasted the island last week.
The storm hit Saipan with winds higher than 90 mph leaving most of the island without power, water and sewer facilities. The power may be out for more than a month. Preliminary reports indicate more than 1,100 homes are damaged.
"Saipan is facing the worst damage that locals have seen for decades," said Brad Kieserman, vice president, Disaster Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. "We have dozens of volunteers working around the clock to make sure people have the support they need and more help is on the way."
With a local office on Saipan and a group of dedicated volunteers, the Red Cross responded immediately to support sheltering, feeding and damage assessment efforts. More than 2,000 calls have come in from people seeking help, adding up to almost five percent of the population. More than 500 people spent Sunday night in government-operated shelters and the Red Cross has already provided more than 11,000 meals.
Because of the extensive damage, the Red Cross has created a robust relief plan to get immediate help to people who need it. The program combines financial assistance with critical supplies to help people leave emergency shelters and begin recovering from Soudelor. Relief supplies include items such as rice, canned meat, hygiene products, stoves and cleaning supplies for thousands of people in the hardest hit areas. Supplies including rice cookers and thousands of comfort items are on the way to Saipan now.
Access to Saipan is challenging. The Red Cross is working with corporate and government partners to get relief supplies to Saipan. Red Cross volunteers on the mainland U.S. are also deploying to the region to assist in the relief effort.
"Saipan is going to need help for some time and the Red Cross will be there to support recovery efforts," said Kieserman. "The best way to help right now, is to make a financial donation to support Red Cross disaster relief."
HOW TO HELP People can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. We respond to nearly 70,000 other disasters every year, from home fires to hurricanes, typhoons and more. Learn more about how Disaster Relief donations have helped people affected by previous disasters including home fires.
SUPPORT HELPS RED CROSS BE PREPARED The generous donations from Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program members enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.
The ADGP members are: 3M; Altria Group; American Airlines; American Express; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Anthem Foundation; Aon; Bank of America; BNY Mellon; Boise Paper; Capitol One; Caterpillar Foundation; Cisco Foundation; Citi Foundation; ConAgra Foods Foundation; Costco Wholesale; Darden Restaurants Foundation; Delta Air Lines; Discover; Disney; Dr Pepper Snapple Group; Edison International; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx Corporation; Ford Motor Company; Grainger; The Home Depot; Humble Bundle; John Deere Foundation; Johnson Controls; Kimberly-Clark Corporation; Kraft Foods Group Foundation; LDS Charities; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Mazda North American Operations; Medtronic; Meijer; Merck & Co., Inc.; Mondelēz International Foundation; National Grid; Nationwide Insurance Foundation; PepsiCo Foundation; Prudential Foundation; San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; State Farm; Southwest Airlines; Sprint; Sunoco; Target; The TJX Companies, Inc.; United Airlines; United Technologies Corporation; UPS; Visa; VSP℠ Vision care for life; Visa; Walmart; Wawa and Wells Fargo.
The Disaster Responder Program members are: 1-800-BOARDUP; Alcoa; Astellas USA Foundation; AstraZeneca; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; AXA Foundation; Ball Foundation; BHP Billiton; The Clorox Company; Entergy Corporation; Farmers Insurance; General Motors Foundation; H&M; Hewlett-Packard Company Foundation; IBM Corporation; IKEA; Ingersoll Rand Foundation; Interstate All Battery Center; Land O'Lakes, Inc.; Marsh & McLennan Companies; MetLife Foundation; Morgan Stanley; New Balance Foundation; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; Procter & Gamble Company; PSEG Foundation; PuroClean; Residence Inn by Marriott; Ryder; San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E); Southeastern Grocers Home of BI-LO Harveys Winn Dixie; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Foundation, Inc.; State Street; Swiss Re Foundation; TOYOTA; U.S. Bank; and U-Haul International.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
SOURCE American Red Cross